AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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New Dust Map of Galaxy Casts Doubts on Gravitational Waves Discovery

All-sky map of interstellar dust from Planck. Blue areas have less dust and red areas have more. The patch of sky observed by BICEP2 is not in one of the less dusty regions. Northern hemisphere is on the left and southern is on the right. Image Credit: ESA

As sometimes happens, the celebrations may [...]

Bizarre Universe: Massive Black Hole In Tiny Galaxy and Exoplanet That Makes Its Star Act Older Than It Is

Artist’s concept of the massive black hole in the dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI-RCC14-41a

The universe is a wild and weird place, and two recent findings from orbiting space telescopes illustrate just how bewildering it can be: a monster-sized black hole in one of the tiniest galaxies known and a huge exoplanet that is [...]

Gaia En-Route to L2 for Five-Year Mission of Astronomical Discovery

Characterized by the bulbous payload fairing, which encapsulates Gaia, Europe’s space observatory takes flight on Thursday, 19 December, from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. Photo Credit: Arianespace/Mike Barrett

Yesterday’s successful launch of the ambitious Gaia mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) has set another spacecraft en-route for the Earth-Sun L2 [...]

Spitzer Space Telescope Celebrates 10 Years of Astronomical Discovery

The infrared vision of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that the Sombrero galaxy—named after its appearance in visible light to a wide-brimmed hat—is in fact two galaxies in one. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ten years ago tonight, NASA’s fourth “Great Observatory”—the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)—was boosted into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force [...]

Launch of IRIS on Orbital Pegasus XL Slips a Day

The planned launch of an Orbital Pegasus XL rocket has been delayed a day due to range power issues. Photo Credit: Randy Beaudoin, VAFB / NASA

The launch of an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket with NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) will have to wait a little longer. The launch is now [...]

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Reveals 'Black Hole Bonanza' in Andromeda Galaxy

Data from Chandra’s X-ray Observatory has led astronomers to unveil 26 black holes in the Milky Way’s neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. This is the largest number of black hole candidates found in a galaxy outside our own. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. Barnard, Z. Lee et al.; Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/REU Program/B. Schoening, V. Harvey and Descubre [...]

NASA'S Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color

Photo Credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

WASHINGTON — Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to photograph the iconic Horsehead Nebula in a new, infrared light to mark the 23rd anniversary of the famous observatory’s launch aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.

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SOFIA Observations Reveal a Surprise in Massive Star Formation

Figures 1a and 1b show the G35 protostar at wavelengths of 31 and 37 microns taken by the FORCAST instrument on the SOFIA observatory’s infrared telescope in 2011. (Zhang et al. 2013, Astrophysical Journal)

WASHINGTON — Researchers using the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured the most detailed mid-infrared images yet of [...]

Strange New Worlds: Exoplanets Abound in the Cosmos (Part 2)

A comparison of the sizes of the three known planets of the star Kepler-37 with some of the worlds of the solar system. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronomers have been dazzled by the sheer number of planets there seem to be in the galaxy. According to a recent estimate, there’s on average at least one [...]

Galaxy’s Gamma-Ray Flares Erupted From Its Black Hole

Prior to its strong outbursts in 2011, blazar 4C +71.07 was a weak source for Fermi’s LAT. These images centered on 4C +71.07 show the rate at which the LAT detected gamma rays with energies above 100 million electron volts (lighter colors equal higher rates). The image at left covers 2.5 years, from the [...]